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3 Days in Jackson with boys

Providence, Rhode...
Level Contributor
20 posts
9 reviews
3 Days in Jackson with boys

We are going to Big Sky, MT for a conference and have decided to fly into Jackson and spend 3-4 days there before driving up to Bozeman. It is our 2nd time in Jackson and we are looking forward to it. Last time our boys were very young and we weren't able to do much. They are now 8-14 and budding naturalists. We are thinking of splurging on a guided wildlife expedition (Teton Science School?), WW or float rafting trip, and some light/moderate hiking (above Jenny Lake? Take lift up to top of mountain?). We would love some suggestions for our itinerary. We fly in Fri 7/8 late afternoon and drive north Tues to Big Sky, via YNP.

Restaurant suggestions also welcome. We love good homestyle cooking but we also like finer food - as long as it isn't pretentious. Our boys know how to behave in a nice restuarant.

Thank you!

Naples, Florida
Destination Expert
for Grand Teton National Park
Level Contributor
3,752 posts
79 reviews
1. Re: 3 Days in Jackson with boys


From the perspective of having an 8 year old out here, I can help.

A lot has gone on since your last visit. I'll suggest some really cool ideas; however, keep in mind you are giving you and your boys a disservice if you don't visit Grand Teton National Park during this time. Rent a couple of kayaks at Dornans and head up to String Lake. You won't be disappointed. I've been recovering from a car accident but I still head up there w/visiting folks in the past 5 weeks...plenty of parking unlike Jenny Lake right now. I crutch my way over there to "ice" my leg lol while visiting people enjoy it.

Anyway, IMHO it could be a full day in it's own if you want to vaca and relax while kids get after it. It is a perfect option. You have to decide if this will be a "trip" or a relaxing vacation. String Lake is a beautiful place to spend a day to relax.Get a picnic lunch ahead of time and enjoy a day on this very shallow lake where your kids and you can actually swim without freezing!

As far as Jackson goes - check out all that is new at Snow King including a roller coaster etc.


Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has a lot going on too. Check out the Grand Adventure Park.


Food - not much has changed . Not pretentious but homestyle.... ok, just came up with The Bird. http://www.thebirdinjh.com/

Unfortunately, IMHO everything is pretentious and caters to tourists. The other alternative would be Hole Grocer south of town - a lot of alternatives by way of fresh selections and newly cooked food. I also like Calico on the Teton Village Road b/c kids can go play while you are waiting for your food....

Hope this was helpful.

Edited: 9:37 pm, July 08, 2016
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
Level Contributor
22,456 posts
62 reviews
2. Re: 3 Days in Jackson with boys

Our son's favorite place in the Tetons was playing in Jackson Lake at the Colter Bay area swim beach! (not a sand beach and not warm tho, lol) It is near the Colter Bay Visitor Center and Indian Museum. We were on a tight budget so didn't do rafting or other activities.

We all enjoyed the lunch at Snake River Brewery.

Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
11,080 posts
68 reviews
3. Re: 3 Days in Jackson with boys

I agree with BlueBirdDay that Jackson is pretentious and caters to tourists, BUT there are hidden gems around town. I really like Bin22...it's actually a wine shop with a great little tapas restaurant in the rear. They also have an alfresco area. I don't know how adventurous you and your boys are, but there is something for everybody. It's also rated the #1 restaurant in Jackson on this TA! Amazing. The Blue Lion is nice, but a bit upscale. The Silver Dollar Grill at the Wort Hotel is also a good bet. As mentioned by BBD, that Jackson Whole Grocer is fantastic as well. Last but not least check out this bakery! I'll be out there next month and my first stop will be Bin22!




Edited: 4:26 pm, July 09, 2016
Providence, Rhode...
Level Contributor
20 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: 3 Days in Jackson with boys

Great suggestions. Thank you! Our boys love kayaking and we enjoyed String Lake the last time we were there.

Anyone with experience about guided hikes or horseback rising? Also, are any of the "cowboy dinner" outings worth it?

Jackson, Wyoming
Level Contributor
1,452 posts
5. Re: 3 Days in Jackson with boys

Chuckwagon dinners are loved by many but not all. Bar J on the Village Road has had better rep but one up Cache has good reviews too.

There are guided ranger hikes. There are, or at least were, a couple of commercial hiking guides too. Cascade Canyon is truly awesome, the most popular hiking trail in Wyoming. We have all kinds of awesome hiking here, I post regularly on facebook and elsewhere. The 14 year old is ready for any number of classics. Some 8 year olds can surprise you too. Fort he family: Dusk on Hermitage Point past the Swan Lake/Heron Pond Loop. Just remember the bear spray, holstered at hand's length. Bradley and Taggart Lakes. Rent a canoe or two and do String and Leigh Lakes, VERY short portage. Hike Goodwin Lake in the Bridger-Teton NAtional Forest.

FOOD: Family moderate pricing=Merry Piglets, Bubbas, Taqueria Sanchez, Creekside Market and Deli for sack lunches and great breakfast sandwiches, .......Pinky G's Pizza

Almost all places are pretty casual.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
115 posts
58 reviews
6. Re: 3 Days in Jackson with boys

We visited there last summer with our 3 boys. I would definitely consider a whitewater rafting tour - we did our through Barker Ewing and it was a combo scenic float followed by breakfast and the whitewater rafting portion. Another activity we really enjoyed was a hike/llamaneering with Jackson Hole Llamas. We also did a guided your of the Tetons with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris which was also great. Besides the tours we also hiked at Lawrence Rockefeller preserve which I would also highly recommend, as well as driving down Moose Wilson road and saw a lot of wildlife. I have written reviews and posted photos for the activities if you want to check it out. Let me know if you have any questions - I'm sure you will have a great time!

7. Re: 3 Days in Jackson with boys

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